June 6, 2011

Circumcision Ban Campaign Not Quite Ready For Its Closeup

So the campaign to enact laws banning circumcision in California without religious exemptions is "gaining momentum," reports the New York Times.

At least it was until the Times also asked the folks at the Anti-Defamation League what they thought about Monster Mohel, the seriously Jew-hatey nemesis in intactivist Matthew Hess's comic book hero Foreskin Man. Yee-ow.

Meanwhile, I think the entirely delightful-sounding mohel at the end of the article offers us some crucial insight into the unspoken cultural assumptions behind the "want him to look like his dad" argument:

Rabbi Yehuda Lebovics, an Orthodox mohel based in Los Angeles who says he has performed some 20,000 circumcisions over several decades, said he often had to soothe nervous mothers.

"I am now doing the sons of the boys I did 30 years ago," Rabbi Lebovics said. "So I turn to the new mother and ask, 'Do you have any complaints in the way it turned out?' "

So complicated right there.

You know what else got cut, despite the Times story being reported entirely from California? any mention of the connection between falling circumcision rates and Hispanic and other non-Anglo birth rates, and between the decision by the state and 15 others to end Medicaid reimbursement for the procedure.

Efforts to Ban Circumcision Gain Traction in California [nyt]
Previously: Government foreskin panels want to Africanize All American baby boys

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